State or Federal?
The CAL FIRE Urban & Community Forestry Program works to optimize the benefits of trees and related vegetation through multiple-objective projects as specified in the California Urban Forestry Act of 1978 (Public Resources Code 4799.06-4799.12). These projects further the goals of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), result in a net greenhouse gas (GHG) benefit, and provide environmental services and cost-effective solutions to the needs of urban communities and local agencies.

Urban Wood and Biomass Utilization projects should create, develop, and implement projects to better utilize trees and/or other vegetation from urban forests to reduce GHG emissions. The trees that are utilized must not have been removed solely for the purpose of utilization; there must be another valid management objective behind the removal of the trees. Projects will use urban woody biomass for its highest and best use, thus diverting it from the urban waste stream.
Eligible Entities
K-12 School Districts, Local Public Agencies, Nonprofit Organizations
Eligibility Notes
Eligible applicants include cities, counties, qualifying districts, or nonprofit organizations qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (§PRC 5096.605). Districts include, but are not limited to, school, park, recreation, water, and local taxing districts.

Eligible projects must:
- Result in a net GHG benefit calculated using ARB’s FY 2017-18 quantification methodology.
- Create, develop, and implement projects to better utilize trees and/or other vegetation from urban forests.
- Be is located in an “urban area” or “urban cluster” as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. (
- Display a sign or other advertisement with the logos and names of all organizations participating in the project, including the CAL FIRE Urban & Community Forestry Program. The sign must also acknowledge the funding source, CCI.
- Show that the community where the project will occur was, and will continue to be, authentically engaged about the project.
- Include an education and outreach component. Not more than 20% of grant funds may be used for this education and outreach component. The education and outreach component as part of the overall project can be shown as project match dollars by the applicant.
- Utilize trees that must not have been removed solely for purposes of utilization. There must be another valid management objective behind the removal of the trees to be utilized as determined by an ISA Certified Arborist, ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist, SAF Certified Urban Forester, or other qualified professional as determined by CAL FIRE.
- Show that the removed trees were replaced with a tree of similar or improved long term carbon and co-benefits.
- Select trees and plant materials that are climate appropriate, drought-tolerant, and well suited the site.
- Adhere to Appendix I at a minimum regarding tree planting. Failure to follow the Standards in Appendix I will lead CAL FIRE to require replacement of the trees at the grantee’s cost. The Standards are also listed at the following web site: .pdf
- Provide maintenance on all trees planted (including replacement) for at least three years after project completion. Evidence of long term care for the trees must also be shown. Projects that meet the criteria for benefiting a disadvantaged community may qualify to receive funds for maintenance in a trust fund at project completion.
Most Recent/Current Due Date
Feb 26, 2018
Due Date Notes
Concept proposals are due February 26, 2018 by 3:00 p.m. CAL FIRE will notify all applicants that submitted concept proposals via letter if their proposal has been selected for to submit a full project application or not in early winter. The due date for the full project application varies from year to year though is anticipated for late winter.
Min Award
Max Award
Total Possible Multi-Year Award
Annual or Multi-Year?
Preliminary Items
Applicants are encouraged to work with local CAL FIRE Regional Urban Foresters in the planning and development of proposals prior to the grant program advertisement each year. Regional Urban Foresters are available for advice and technical expertise in planning of projects. A list of CAL Fire Regional Urban Foresters can be found in Appendix H of the solicitation.
Match Required?
Match Notes
There is a minimum 25% match, which can be met with in-kind activities or materials related to the project, as well as any State funding source related to the project that is not the same as the State source of funding awarded by CAL FIRE. The proportion of the project’s cost funded by CAL FIRE Urban & Community Forestry shall not be greater than 75%.

However, projects that meet the criteria for being located in or benefiting a disadvantaged community or a low income community will be eligible to have their cost share requirement reduced or completely waived by CAL FIRE. This request must be made during the concept proposal process by checking the appropriate box on the form.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
Total Amount Available for All Grants
Competition Notes
An applying entity may only submit up to 3 total grant proposals for consideration.

75% of the appropriation for this program is allotted to projects meeting the ARB criteria for being located within AB 1550 communities. As directed by AB 1550, Cal EPA has identified disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, low-income households statewide, and low-income community and low-income households that are within ½-mile of a disadvantaged community for investment. Disadvantaged communities are those areas that are disproportionately affected by multiple types of pollution and areas with vulnerable populations. Low income communities and low-income households are those that are either at or below 80 percent of the statewide median income, or at or below the threshold designated as low-income by the California Department of Housing and Community Development's (HCD) 2016 State Income Limits.

Cal EPA uses CalEnviroScreen 3.0 ( to identify disadvantaged communities, low income communities, and low-income households. Maps that show the disadvantaged community and low income community census tracts and those tracts with a ½ mile around the tract boundary are at:
Further Information

Link to Further Information
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